Mrs. Cockle’s Cat


Mrs. Cockle’s Cat

Philippa Pearce, author

Antony Maitland, illustrator

London: Constable and Co., 1961

30 pp.

Ages: 4 +

Interests: cats, flying, balloons, London, ocean, boats

Also by this author: Tom’s Midnight Garden



New Sendak Book!

Here’s an interview with Maurice Sendak in The Paris Review, talking about his new book Bumble-Ardy.

Top 5: Books About School

In honour of the First Day of School this week, here are some great books about life in the classroom.

1. Miss Nelson is Missing!, by Harry Allard – Age: 4 +

A very funny story about the most feared substitute teacher ever – Miss Viola Swamp! Sequels include Miss Nelson is Back, and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. (This title on amazon.)

2. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes – Age: 5 +

Lilly has a dispute with her adored teacher over a distracting plastic purse. (This title on amazon.)

3. Ramona the Pest, by Beverly Cleary – chapter book – Age: 5 +

A chapter book about a rambunctious girl’s first adventures and misadventures in kindergarten. (This title on amazon.)

4. Math Curse, by Lane Smith – picture book – Age: 5 +

By the author and illustrator who brought you The Stinky Cheese Man, this is all about math anxiety, or seeing the world as an endless series of perplexing number problems. As a picture book, it would certainly entertain the kindergarten crowd, but older kids will ‘get’ more of the math concepts and jokes. (This title on amazon.)

5. Matilda, by Roald Dahl – chapter book – Age: 6 +

Precocious reader Matilda starts school and helps her favourite teacher battle the villainous principal. A darker tale of school life, with truly despicable adults and some violent scenes. In other words, typical Dahl. (This title on amazon.)

The City of Dragons

The City of Dragons

by Laurence Yep

illustrated by Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng

New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995

29 pp

Ages: 4 +

Interests: China, dragons, folktales, fairy tales, magic, giants, difference, loneliness

Also by this author: The Dragon Prince


Owl Moon


Owl Moon

by Jane Yolen

illustrated by John Schoenherr

New York: Scholastic, 1987

30 pp.

Age: 4 +

Interests: birds, owls, nature, winter


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.